Professor Southern joined the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on the 1st January 2000 and is Director of the Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales Network of Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Care with responsibility for the care of over 300 children with CF in the North West of England. He is the Chief Investigator for the national UK CF START study, a trial funded by the UK government to evaluate the safest and most effective antibiotic treatment strategy for infants with CF. He is also Co-Chief Investigator on another NIHR-funded registry based UK trial, CF STORM. Using innovative design to explore a stopping strategy, this trial will provide people with CF with data to confidently reduce their treatment burden.
In 2007, he helped establish the national UK Newborn Screening Programme for CF and he now chairs the national Board overseeing this programme. He is the Leader of the European CF Society Neonatal Screening Working Group. He is an Editor for the international Cochrane Review Group evaluating evidence for therapies for people with CF. In addition to his editorial role, he has written and contributed to 12 systematic reviews and his research is focused on translating evidence into practice. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles on cystic fibrosis and is internationally respected for his work on newborn screening. He is joint editor of a textbook sponsored by the European CF Society, the “Early CF Years”. He is an elected member of the ECFS Board and, as such, has a global perspective on the issues facing people with CF (2010-2020). He was instrumental in lobbying for the European CF Conference to be held in Liverpool in 2019 and is an ambassador for the city. He has been appointed as Director of the ECFS Standards of Care Committee. In 2021, he was voted as chair of the UK CF Medical Association (starting in 2022).
Professor Southern was Deputy Head of Women’s and Children’s Health (2008-2019), a large and research active department in the University. He has a leadership role in the Child Health team located in the new Institute in the Park, adjacent to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He was actively involved (over more than ten years) in the plans and construction of the new Institute.